What Survives

‘A gripping tale, beautifully told’


Adalet Ulusoy is recovering from severe burns to her legs, the death of her parents and the loss of her unborn child resulting from a massive earthquake on the Black Sea Coast of The Republic of Turkey. When her husband deserts her, his wealthy family sends her to live in a vacant home they own in the pottery village of
Avanos where she meets the formidable blind grandmother of a teenage budding artist, Meryem. Against the backdrop of a constantly changing and developing Turkey, Adalet and Meryem move to Istanbul so that Meryem can study art. There they meet an American art professor from New York City. Through love, mentorship and the horrifying events of September 11, their lives are forever changed.

What Survives will be re-issued by Black Rose Writing, which is publishing As They Are, the prequel to What Survives, in April 2022. What Survives was originally published by IPBooks in June 2016.

It was shortlisted for the Santa Fe Writers Project.

It’s available through IPBooks, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and many other booksellers.

Early praise

Phyllis Skoy’s debut novel, What Survives, is a gripping tale beautifully told. The book takes hold in its opening paragraphs. Skoy, a sure-handed writer, brings to life characters whom I felt I came to know at greater and greater depth as the narrative unfolds, and it is this wish to better know the characters that is the driving force of the novel.

The tension between past and present Turkish culture is brought to life in a way that is reminiscent of the work of Orhan Pamuk.

Skoy shows compassion for each of the characters even as their struggles to claim their lives as their own takes a toll on those they love.

When reading either fiction or nonfiction, unless writing is good—really good—I stop reading. What Survives is a book I could not put down.
Thomas Ogden, author, The Parts Left Out and The Hands of Gravity and Chance

What Survives takes the reader on an inspiring journey of transformation as Adelet finds her voice and command as a woman. The sights, tastes, and politics of modern Turkey add to this extraordinary story’s power. This novel will transport you!

Lynn C. Miller, author, The Day After Death and The Fool’s Journey

Astonishing . . . a novel of great integrity and insight, beautifully written, turbulent and relevant for our times.

Carolyn Flynn, author, Searching for Persephone
Winner, 2014 Rick Bass/Montana Prize for Fiction

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